Friday, January 20, 2012

Is it Better to be Obscure or Visible?

Obscurity is your friend.  If you're working on something or figuring out how to make something work, you don't want people watching you.  Only after you've got it operating smoothly do you want spectators and critics.  Why do starlets say such stupid things?  They haven't worked out where they fit, where they have expertise and how people will respond to what they say.  Think about it with U2 as your example.

U2 is a rock band.  Their fans know what to expect from a song, album or concert and when U2 publishes something, they stay within the range of what their fan base expects.  They identified an area, developed expertise in it and cultivated a fan base that expects certain things from them.

Ok, what if U2 wrote a symphony?  They may well love classical music.  Maybe they go to the symphony regularly, but that's not the vein of expertise they've cultivated.  If they put out a symphony, it would alienate their fan base and the fans of symphonies probably wouldn't take them seriously.

Wisely, they developed expertise in the area of rock-n-roll when they were obscure, cultivated a fan base that enjoyed what they produced and created a nice career for themselves doing that.  It was really their work while they were obscure that gave them the opportunity.

Obscurity is your opportunity to develop something great, don't try and draw attention to yourself until you're really ready.

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